Australia’s Christian Super takes stake in Swiss impact asset manager responsAbility

Deal advised by sustainable advisory firm Consilium Capital

Australian superannuation fund Christian Super has acquired what is described as a “significant minority shareholding” in responsAbility Investments AG, the Swiss-based impact asset management house with $3bn in assets under management.

It means that Christian Super, the A$1.5bn (€922m) fund run on Christian ethical values and which has around 10% of its portfolio in impact assets, becomes responsAbility’s first international shareholder.

It will join existing shareholders including private bank Baumann & Cie, banking group Raiffeisen Switzerland, the Swiss Re Foundation and Vontobel, as well as private investors, management and staff.

Consilium Capital, the London-based group where ESG figures such as Mark Campanale and Alice Chapple are advisors, advised responsAbility on the deal, the financial terms of which were not disclosed.

responsAbility was founded in 2003 to specialise in microfinance funds and now focuses on SDG-aligned investments in emerging economies, with clients drawn from private, institutional and public investors through a range of private debt and private equity funds.Just this month responsAbility launched a new private debt fund for sustainable agriculture in developing and emerging countries. The Luxembourg-domiciled offering drew anchor investment from Kempen Capital Management.

“Our continued commitment to the growth of the impact investment market”

Christian Super said the investment follows on from its formation of the Brightlight Impact Advisory consultancy arm in 2016 and “signals our continued commitment to the growth of the impact investment market and to designing and delivering high-quality investment solutions to meet investors’ financial, social and environmental goals”.

responsAbility’s chair, Reto Schnarwiler, a senior executive at Swiss Re, called the move an “important mark of recognition” for the firm. Both parties are signatories of the IFC’s Operating Principles for Impact Investment Management.